Uncertainty around, Indians willing to invest in upskilling

Around 73% of Indians — compared to the global average of 55% — are showing increased interest in pursuing further education/upskilling in the current economic climate, a new study has revealed.

Even as two in three Indians approached household spending with caution by spending primarily on healthcare, medicine and groceries, education is perceived by Indians as a necessary and worthwhile investment for career growth in a scenario marked by technological disruptions and economic uncertain.

At 82%, online is the preferred medium to pursue further education for the surveyed Indian professionals, who believe upskilling will enable them to stand out in the job market and provide greater career opportunities. Nine in 10 believe online learning adoption will increase in the near future.

“The global workforce is currently battling several challenges to stay relevant — from technological disruptions to economic uncertainties. We understand from our Indian learners that education is a top priority and interest in online learning continues to grow,” said Mohan Kannegal, CEO, India and APAC, Emeritus.

About 84% of Indians agree that pursuing further education will give them an edge to compete better against their peers. Of Indian professionals, 86% also said a high-quality up ..

Indians look to education for confidence and as a safety net, the survey found, with 86% of the professionals surveyed agreeing that further education was hugely helpful in building their skills. Indians cited ‘increasing job security’ as one of the key motivations to pursue further education, besides promotions and career advancement. Upskilling, they felt, also helped them stand out in the job market.

Indians are increasingly looking to work at companies that offer educational benefits. Among the respondents, nearly nine in 10 work with companies that provide upskilling opportunities. Among them, two-thirds have witnessed an increase in employee contribution in the past year to their organisations as a result of continued education.


India’s outsourcing giants cut hiring; disheartening for economy, students

India’s outsourcing giants are slashing hiring and getting projects done with existing workers, a rare pullback that could weigh on the economy and affect engineering students who have seen information technology as the sector of choice for decades.

The slowdown, triggered by global uncertainty in demand, is unprecedented in an industry that is one of the biggest hirers in India’s services sector since the 1990s and provides an assured career path and prosperity to hundreds of thousands of students each year.

“Weak IT hiring could be for two different reasons: short-term negative demand shock or a long-term displacement resulting from labour-saving technologies,” said Rohit Azad, an economics professor at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

“The impact of weak hiring would depend on which is the primary cause driving it. A negative multiplier effect in the immediate would be there nevertheless,” Azad added.

The IT sector accounts for about 8% of India’s GDP versus less than 1% about 30 years back, according to Rishad Premji, the chairman of Wipro, one of the country’s IT giants.

Overall, the Indian tech sector employs over 5.4 million people, according to trade group Nasscom, although the number is dominated by the IT sector. About 290,000 new jobs in the tech sector were created in the financial year that ended in March, but Nasscom warned of “global headwinds” in the current year.

With IT employees seen as big spenders on everything from cars, durables and second homes to travel and entertainment, they are likely to have had some effect on the sluggish 0.5% sequential growth in private consumption in January-March.

“Some slowdown in IT hiring intentions could contribute to the flat-lining in consumption that is already underway,” said HDFC Bank Principal Economist Sakshi Gupta.

There are pockets of optimism elsewhere in the services sector – especially in accounting, where there is a surge in hiring. But the numbers are still dwarfed by the IT industry.

IT firms, which count global heavyweights such as Apple, Citigroup and American Express among its clients, went on a hiring binge during the pandemic that fuelled a digital services boom.

However, things changed this year as recession fears gripped the world and the collapse of three U.S. regional banks and the forced sale of Europe’s Credit Suisse to UBS left the global financial industry shaken, making IT clients across sectors cut spending.

“The post-pandemic phase saw companies ramping up production to meet new demands in the market, leading to a growth in hiring across IT companies. This boom, however, soon fizzled out in the face of the global economic crisis and a looming recession,” said Sachin Alug, the CEO of staffing firm NLB Services.

NLB sees a 20-25% drop in IT employee additions in the first half of the current financial year, while TeamLease Digital expects a 40% decrease for the entire year.


Now acquiring green skills can get you job as demand is increasing

Demand for green jobs or roles that are linked to environment and sustainability is increasing at a faster clip globally than the supply of talent, said Ruchee Anand, senior director, talent and learning solutions LinkedIn India.

Globally, the share of job postings on LinkedIn requiring at least one green skill grew nearly twice as quickly as the share of green talent, on a year-over-year basis.

“As of February, 13.1% of paid job postings on our platform in India require green skills. We’re seeing steady progress in India where paid job postings that require green skills have increased by 5% year-over-year,” she added.

Industries like farming, ranching, forestry (53.29%) and construction (49.46%) have undergone significant green transformation and have the highest growth of green talent share in India. Others such as oil, gas and mining show a high share of green talent (28.77%) and high year-over-year growth 13.56%. These industries are in the more advanced stages of green transformation.

Industries like financial services and technology show a lower share of green talent but high year-over-year growth

“These are industries which are likely to accelerate green transformation efforts,” said Ruchee.

Top green skills in India include carbon footprinting, sustainability reporting, environmental law, sustainability consulting and radiation safety.

“This is a great opportunity for professionals to acquire top green skills because sometimes, these skills may even be required in traditionally ‘non green’ jobs,” said Ruchee. “For example, sustainability reporting is a skill that may be required by financial accountants, who can assess the return on investment (ROI) of sustainability projects, cost savings from resource conservation, and potential risks or opportunities related to sustainability factors,” she said.

“The growing green talent in the country presents an opportunity for business leaders to upskill and reskill their workforce, and actively drive green transformation business efforts,” she added.